Chile - My travel itinerary!

Chile – My travel itinerary!

I have always wanted to visit South America. It has been one of my dream destinations. As part of my yearly long vacations during Christmas, I decided to head to the beautiful continent of South America. For me, visiting South America was incomplete without doing the Inca Trail, which meant I had to visit Peru. I started researching for various flight options from Sydney. An economical option was to fly to Santiago and then take a connecting flight to Cusco. So, I decided to take a break at Santiago, Chile and also visit some beautiful locations within the country.

Chile is a long, narrow country on the west coast of South America. It has been rated as Number 1 country on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 list.

Flights

The flights from Sydney to South America are very expensive. It made it even more burden on my wallet because I am traveling during the Christmas break.

Flight 1: Sydney to Auckland

  • Provider: Air New Zealand.
  • Cost:AUD 419.56 (approx. USD 316.39) per person.

Flight 2: Auckalnd to Santiago

  • Provider: Qantas.
  • Cost: I had sufficient Qantas points which I traded in for the ticket from Auckland to Santiago. I paid about 92,000 Qantas points with NZD 33/AUD 29.78 (approx. USD 22.46) per person. The flight cost is generally between AUD 1000 (approx. USD 758.60) to AUD 1500 (approx. USD 1137.90) per person.

Flight 3: Santiago to La Paz (Bolivia)

  • Provider: LATAM Airlines
  • Cost: AUD 411.80 (approx. USD 310.54) per person.

Visa

The visa process for Chile is very simple and organised.

  • Type of visa: Single entry Tourist visa.
  • Cost: AUD 73 (approx. USD 338) per person.

Chile tourist visa for Indian citizen

The process for applying for Chile tourist visa for Indian citizens residing in Australia is very easy and systematic. This post details out the process for obtaining the Chile tourist visa.

Step 1: To submit the below original documents at Chile Consulate General.

  • Completed visa application form.
  • Current Australian visa (if the visa is not stamped, then the email obtaining VEVO visa check must be forwarded to the consulate at cgsydney@optusnet.com.au).
  • Chile travel itinerary (flight tickets and accommodation).
  • Letter from current employer.
  • One passport size photograph on a white background.

Step 2: An authorization letter will be sent to your email address provided by Chile consulate before issuing the visa.

Step 3: Visit the Chile Consulate to pay the visa fee and the passport will be stamped on your passport.

  • Chile Consulate General Sydney: Level 18, 44, Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

The recent up to date information can be found on Chile Consulate website.

Stay

  • Accommodation: Zenteno Apartments in Santiago City Centre.
  • Cost: AUD 448.22 (approx. USD 338) for 7 nights.
  • The accommodation is not that great. It is an apartment in one of the building complexes. There is a super market just below the building where one can shop for groceries. And there is also a coin operated laundry in the common area.

Itinerary/Activities

Note: All these tours are booked with Viator. It is easy and convenient to book the tours.

Day 1: Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar

  • Activity planned: Full day tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar.
  • Local tour contact: Stamp’s Tour (+56 999 516 940).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 131.29 (approx. USD 99) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 2: El Morado Natural Monument

  • Activity planned: Glacier hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 145.88 (approx. USD 110) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 3: Santiago 

  • Activity planned: Santiago City Tour.
  • I will be exploring the city on my own without any tour.

Street art in Santiago 💕

I have told this many times – I love street arts. Taking pictures of some cool arts around the city is something I definitely love and enjoy. Santiago was no different. I have tried to capture the city’s beauty by taking some pictures of the art.

Chile - Santiago Street art
Chile - My travel itinerary!
Chile - My travel itinerary!
Chile - My travel itinerary!
Chile - My travel itinerary!

Day 4: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose

  • Activity planned: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose Volcano hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 160.87 (approx. USD 121.31) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 5: Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard

  • Activity planned: Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard.
  • Local tour contact: Stamp’s Tour (+56 999 516 940).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 187.69 (approx. USD 141.54) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Vaccinations

  • Doctor consultation for the below vaccines are covered by Medicare.
  • Hepatitus A combined with Typhoid – Vivaxim Inj 160U-25mcg/ImL 1 – AUD 125 (approx. USD 95)
  • Tetanus – Massbiologics Tet/Diphth 0.5ML – AUD 20 (approx. USD 15.2)
Chile - My travel itinerary!

Note: The taxis, local transportation and food are not included in the above expenses. I will detail them out after my travel in Chile.

Chile, I love you!

Chile was voted as a must visit place for 2018 by Lonely Planet. I have seen New Zealand and Norway and I have loved every bit of those countries. If Chile was voted above NZ and Norway, then Chile had to live up to its status. Well, I was visiting Chile for my Christmas break in 2017. I had expectations – very huge expectations.

First day in Santiago, I took a taxi from Airport to Downtown, I was conned 😕. I was charged USD 65 by the driver stating it was on the meter. My friend had traveled the same distance and route previous day and he had paid USD 30. I was disappointed. I was taken aback.

Tip: The taxi from Airport to Downtown costs 13300 Chilean Pesos.

My friend’s and my travel cards had stopped working. We had no money. All the money we had in cash, we had to pay for our accommodation.

I had landed in Santiago over the weekend on a Saturday, everything – literally every single store in Downtown was closed. I had no food. Luckily I was carrying a pack of noodles to survive for the day. I was again disappointed. The story continued next day as well.

But I now love Chile 😍, here is why!

  • Third day I did a hike of 16 kilometers to the Glacier.My guide Gonzalis was very nice. He knew what he was talking and was very passionate about his work. He treated all of us on the tour very well and we were taken care of. The disappointment caused by the first two days was reduced.
  • Fourth day I visited Valparaíso. The city was extremely colorful. And I am a big fan of street art and Valparaíso was the place to be. It was spectacular. The disappointment that I had towards Chile changed into liking. The ice cream at Valparaíso helped as well.
  • Fifth day I hiked up to the volcano. The hike had amazing views of the mountains – really powerful huge mountains.
  • I saw not one but two condors – Chile’s National bird.
  • The two guides were amazing. They were very friendly and again were passionate about their jobs.
  • Two little birds interacted with me during my hike. I had started to love Chile.
  • Sixth day was the highlight. I visited the Inca lagoon. Oh-my-God! It was stupendous, simply mind blowing. I loved Chile a little more.

Few more reasons include:

  • Chileans love their dogs. There are so many stray dogs all around the city but none of them thin, they are all very well fed. I love it.
  • I have had some amazing grilled fresh salmons. They were delicious and tasty.
  • Pisco, the super special drink of Chile, is mind blowing. I loved it!
  • Lastly but definitely not the least, Chilean wines. They are fresh and super delicious. Carmanere, which was thought extinct from the World, was discovered only here in Chile and now exists only in Chile.

I would definitely suggest Chile to be a top item on your bucket list. It is the place for any kind of traveler.

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